Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Overtures - Acting Out

Lawrence listens as Eitan describes
how an acting exercise made him feel.
By Matt Strote, Education Intern

With the first day of Overtures under our belts, it was time to really dive into the work with our second day of the program. I can only describe our second day as a whirlwind of activity. The Overtures students ran through nearly every type of class and workshop one might imagine in a musical theatre intensive in just one day. (It was a busy and varied day to say the least.) 

Starting off the day, bright and early, with a few intense hours of dance instruction with the talented Karma Camp, the students danced, shimmied and jumped their way around the room. Not even an hour later the students split up into their teams. With the rest of their team in tow, the students participated in group voice lessons with Tracy Lynn Olivera and their first acting intensive with Mitchell Hebert.  

Michell Hebert gives direction
to an Overtures student during
the first acting class.

Mitchell has long been a DC area performer and director. He was the 2014 Helen Hayes Award recipient for Outstanding Director of a Resident Production, as well as Outstanding Ensemble of a Resident Production for his work on Round House Theatre's Glengarry Glen Ross. Mitchell also received the 2012 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in After the Fall at Theatre J. Overtures is lucky enough to have Mitchell join us on several occasions throughout these two weeks.

The first session with Mitchell featured a slew of insightful experiences, exercises and helpful advice. What started out as a simple session on the nature of auditions, eventually turned into a discussion on actors being "actors", and how to best prepare and adjust oneself for an audition. (How to get in the proper mindset and physical state before you enter that big scary audition room.) I don't want to give away any secrets that might have been discussed in the room, but let's just say that there are more than a few secrets when it comes to relaxing and being audition ready. The students are very excited to have Mitch back soon to work monologues and additional actor readiness techniques.

Wrapping up an already busy day were individual musical coaching sessions with Signature provided accompanists as well as sessions on The Business of Show Business with Associate Artistic Director, Matt Gardiner. As we keep going through this exciting two week period with you via this blog we hope to excite you and interest you in joining us on the June 28th, when the Overtures students will take the stage in the Max Theatre at 11 am. The students will perform in a free final showcase, highlighting and showing off all of the work they have done over the past two weeks and that you have heard about here on the blog!

Mitchell and others watches as students present one minute introductions of themselves to the class.


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